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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  August 13, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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is the government that is so weak. there is a lot that is built into the president with respect to the to theevent -- the most important event this year. do we have any idea if the provincial elections will change the government going forward? >> this could not be a more important issue for us. we have been asking him to focus on this issue and without going into too many details, after the election is complete and i stress that we are not going to know on the evening of august 20 to the wilderness, they will not call this election on cnn. until actually, all 41 of the candidates -- the process will
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take a while, and they will have to count the votes and there will be hundreds of observers out there. something like six or 800 journalists have registered from around the world, including some of you in this room. after this process is determined, there will be disputes as there are in american elections. . r a rath elengthy delay and so after this is settled, we will be looking to the government and when i say we i want to echo what jane marriott said. we means the international community. this has been one of the main topics that i've discussed with my 24, 25 counterparts. we will be asking the government to reinvigorate or invigorate if it's a different president, the leader --
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leadership in these fields that you have heard today. the reason we start with agriculture is that that was the -- we start our presentations with agriculture today. we started our efforts with agriculture because that was agriculture because that was the controversial program. and astonishingly, the u.s. government was spending -- spending more moneyer add i indicating poppy crops than building up agriculture. it made no sense to us. by reversing that, we were able to jump-start the issue. but many issues -- anti-corruption, etc., are deferred. we're going to be trying very hard to help the afghanistanans. i want to go back to something sepideh said. another thing we discovered when we came into office is less than 10% of american assistance wand -- was going through the government. it was going to contractors. if any of you are in this room, be warned, we're going to try to cut the contracts down. we just have to because of the
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way -- because of the way they work. they're not flexible. they undermine the very government we're trying to strengthen. an example, we found a $30 million contract for women's programs that was going to be given out to somebody, to some n.g.o. or some consultant and we just cancelled the contract and turned the money over to the embassy for an ambassador's fund on women's programs. that way we can increase our flexibility and respond to this hugely important issue. and secretary clinton's women's advisor, your old colleague milanda deer, went out there with ashley bommer and they had a fantastic trip. these programs will be implemented. we have about 20 of them. only discussed a few today. after the election, because with whoever is elected. we have to try to strengthen the government bearing in mind
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all the inherent problems. the biggest single problem we're going to face, i'm going to be very honest with you, is going to be strengthening the police. no question. unfortunately we didn't have our police team here today and it's a whole active issue but the police in any -- whole different issue but the police in any counterinsurgency, guerrilla wars, i spent a lot of my life working in these areas, you can't do it unless the police take over a key role in security after the military forces do the clearing. this point was made quite well in an article i don't entirely agree with in last weekend's wall street journal. i didn't agree with everything in it but the emphasis on police was correct. so we have a vast array of programs which have been deferred by the delay in the election which we hope to emphasize as the military pushes forward and disrupts the taliban. that in turn going back to your first question, john, that in turn we know will weaken the
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links between taliban and al qaeda and together with the dramatic events in pakistan in the last week and a half which are enormously important, but we don't exactly know how, we just they they're important, are the direction we're trying to go. >> al: vexing question in my mind is the role of iran in the region. we had cooperation earlier from inan the now putting tremendous diplomatic and other pressure on them. do we need support from iran and afghanistan to succeed? what's the tradeoff?
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maybe another way of asking that question is what's the greater threat to national security if you can opine on that. what's going on in iran or in afghanistan or pakistan? >> i can't opine which is the greater threat because a nuclear iran would be a very great threat not only to us but to everyone. nor do i work on iran. but i do want to make very clear that while i don't have an iranian count part, the -- counterpart, the -- we recognize geography and its realities and anyone in this room who's been to herat, as ashley bommer and i have on a trip as -- and many of you know that herat is in a kind of cultural economic orbit with political influence from iran, iran has a legitimate role to play in the resolution of the
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afghan issue. but whether they will play it or not depends on a lot of other critical factors and that's really about all i'd like to say on that issue now. but we are completely aware of the iranian factor and they went and i would also draw your attention to one other fact. on april 17 in tokyo at the pakistan pledging conference, the iranians came and pledged $330 million in an international conference to pakistan. so they are a factor and to pretend they're not as was often done in the past doesn't make much sense and you pointed out that i -- a critical point that in bonn were -- where rinna was, they did help stand up the current government.
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>> my other yeah -- question was on the geography between pakistan and india. is it critical that the united states try to play a role? that's on really problematic with respect to the indians in terms of defusing tensions between india and pakistan. is that outside 9 postal -- the portfolio of this group? >> it is outside the portfolio of my job. on the other hand, i am in constant touch with the indians. i met with the indians continually. the new ambassador in washington and i have had dinner recently and she and i are in close touch. i go to indio whenever the schedule permits. i stress we're completely transparent. the secretary of state and my close colleague assistant secretary for south asia, central asian affairs bob blake and i were in india recently
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and the indians are a major factor in the region. they're the dominant power. improveb -- improving u.s.-indian relations ha been a continual goal of the last three u.s.strations, all which i think have been successful in that regard, starting with president clinton's trip in 2000. i will keep the indians fully informed and i have an indian counterpart who i keep fully informed in india. >> ok. going to open it up. [unaudible question] >> i'm not going to stand so i don't block the cameras. >> please identify yourself. >> martha raddatz from abc news. ambassador holebook i know you want to talk about the civilian side of this. >> but you don't? >> but the security is so intergind. tell me how that is affecting what you're trying to do, what kind of a hindrance that is,
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what hads to happen in order for you to succeed and as part of that i want to sigh that a lot of people i talk to, civilians in afghanistan complain that they really can't go outside the wire in certain areas because of the security. >> you mean the americans? >> yes. >> let me start with the second question because we're really changing that, martha. when's the last time you were in kabul? >> about a month or so ago. >> all right. so you may have noticed then, you say the wire. the first thing that the new team did was cut wire down symbolically around the compound. they used to need permission. they used to drive in an armored car from the embassy across the street to the a.i.d. compound. they had to drive. that's all being changed. they have changed the curfew regulations, extended the curfew from midnight to 2:00 a.m. you no longer need 72 hours
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prior permission to leave the compound. you can leave on -- you don't need permission at all. . you just notify people where you're going. it made no sense to any of us when we came in. we send people over there and put them under restraints they can't work. now we have to protect them but we're doing it to gib them much more discorrection. -- discretion. we have also guaranteed any person who goes to afghanistan for the united states government that if his or her spouse wishes to work in the mission, we will guarantee them a job. so far the first time, we have tandem couples in significant numbers starting with ambassador eikenberry himself. and so on that point we agree with you completely. it was a self-denying situation and i will continue to talk about it with the security officers and ambassador eikenberry. on your first point, i of
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course -- of course security is the underlying component. that's why i mentioned the police. without security you can build a school, you can build a bridge, and one grenade, one mine sets it off. so we understand the did, completely the integration of the two. but as you've seen and this is refered in a lot of reporting been done lately including the washington post piece on page 3 this morning by karen de young and her colleague, we are trying to integrate the civilian and military. general petraeus and i and our whole teams have had two full-day sessions on this to integrate. if i go into details i'm going to take up a lot of time for smug already know but of course you can't could civilian growth
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unless you have security. it's obvious. what? >> [inaudible question] >> i think that general mcchrystal and secretary gates, and general petraeus have addressed the troop question very fully and i think there's a process underway the integrity of which i think we must respect. >> beth mendelsohn with voice of america, the afghanistan service. if one of the candidates doesn't get 50% and this goes into a second round and things get complicated there, what are the constitutional laws that are in place? can karzai call the loya jirga? and also if it goes the way some of the things did in iran,
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what is the united states prepared to do in these circumstances? >> rinna? >> i'd like barney to comment on this as well. if there is a security situation then there are stipulations where a loya jirga can be called. but i'd like barney to speak in more detail about this as well. >> well, i'm not sure what your question is about. according to the constitution if no one gets more than 50% of the vote, then a second round has to be held within two weeks of the date of announce mentd of the result. perhaps your question is what is -- if there is civil conflict and it is not possible to do that. we of course do not want to address hypothetical questionsb3 like that. there is an international presence in afghan government that is our partner and if such an unfortunate scenario sha rise there are policies and institutions on the rise to address it.
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>> thank you, mr. ambassador. sky news. the british and u.s. troops as well as the nato troops will be watching this very closely within their own compound. what message does this administration and do you, mr. ambassador, want to project to the@@@@@@@@@ )@ @ @ @ @ @ >> what message do we want to address to the u.s. and allied troops? >> in terms of the election and -- >> every trip we make out there we address the troops and talk about why they are there, to find out how they feel at the lowest levels, particularly way out on the front lines which are really dangerous. i think the troops do not love it out there. they are caring 120 pounds of equipment on their back in 120 degree heat.
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i am not making those numbers up. it is an extraordinary thing to say. they know why they are there. they know exactly, going back to john podesta's opening question, they understand the causal connection between their presence and 9/11. they understand their mission. trained for the integrated civilian military. otto, you may have noticed that otto mentioned in his agriculture presentation. national guard units from texas , nebraska, several states have agricultural development teams which they are very proud of in uniform. the military is supporting these programs. vikram discussed the initiative on counterpropaganda. i stress nobody likes to be out there. it's very tough work. but i felt that they really understood it. >> let's go to this side of the
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room. start with karen. karen? >> karen dion with the washington post. i'd like to go back to the question of iran. barney rubin said we were in regular consultations with all major neighborhoods who have a stake in afghanistan and i want -- wondered what that meant in terms of iran and also if you could give us an up to date assessment of iranian activities in afghanistan, particularly the provision of weapons, training, and advice to insurgents. >> well, karen, in regard to all neighbors and regular contact. barney did not mean to include iran. we don't have any direct contacts with them on this. but you can judge for yourself by their statements, and -- what was the second part of your question?
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sorry. >> are they training? >> oh, are the iranians training? we get conflicting reports on that. vikram, do you want to address that? >> there's certainly -- you know, i didn't comment on it. i wouldn't want to get any -- the most current information i don't have. certainly the iranians have in the past troy -- provided some arms to certain groups inside afghanistanity i do not think it's been viewed from a defense perspective as a substantial effort or a substantial threat. i do not have the most recent information more you, however. >> i think for the benefit of people who don't follow this issue closely i'd add one very publicly known but underexamined fact. iran has arguably the highest -- the largest problem as a percentage of adult population of drug addiction in the world and those drugs are coming
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across the afghan border. it is a major concern to them. they've admitted to a very high number. don't hold me to this but i think five million. it may be higher. and there is obviously a very high imperative on this. you also will note that in the declaration that president obama and. medvedev gave during the moscow trip there was a specific paragraph on the russian concern with the drug trade in afghanistan and its effect on russia, with a particular emphasis on precursor chemicals. so i mention this because if you look -- barney dade -- said earlier about strategic parallelism but not fully integrated policies -- there are these issues which every other country in the region and all the way through to europe and this includes another
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afghan neighbor, china, all share and this is one of them. >> yeah, hi. simon denny from reuters here. i wanted to pick up on something ashley and vikram are talking about, propaganda. the taliban are going around telling people in afghanistan that the russians were here for 10 years, the americans have been here for seven, you know, stick around, we're going to be on the winning side and it's changing that perception of who the winning side is going to be which is crucial to getting the villagers to actually support your goals. and i just wondered, you know, i understand that the military commitment can't be open-ended, that the goals have to be realistic but can you really tell the afghan people you're here, the military's here until you provide security, delopment, and democracy and not just at a presidential
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level but democracy at a local too. is that commitment still there from the international community to do that? >> great question. barney and rinna, would you comment? >> well, first, you accurately describe the message from the taliban. the situation, however, is quite different. the soviet invasion of afghanistan was condemned by virtually the entire world community and the -- it was one of the major factors actually isolating the soviet union. the operation in afghanistan of which the u.s. is a part and it plays a leading role is perhaps the most fully multilateral operation in history which commands the support of at least officially if not unofficially as i mentioned, of virtually every government and every international organization. i don't think it's crass to say
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that we are committed to waging a war in afghanistan until afghanistan is a perfect democracy which would seem to be what you implied, nor would we make did, nor would we expect people to believe such an unrealistic commitment but i believe we are committed and it is realistic to ask believe -- people to believe that we are committed to fight there until we are security from terrorist attacks launched from there and until the region is free from the danger of nuclear terror and other forms of danger that would be extremely dangerous. >> rinna? >> one of the first places i went when i returned to afghanistan in 2002 right after the taliban fell, overnight you could see that there was a tremendous level of enthusiasm for this process from the afghan population. the afghan population does want
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this process to succeed. they need to see a commitment and i do believe the changes that this administration has brought about is certainly something that is increasing confidence among the afghan people. afghanistanans are pragmatic, realistic. they just want to be confident that they are going to have a partner in this process and i think that's something that this administration is showing and demonstrating. >> why don't we go to the front? >> my name is wande, i'm with the south asia voice of america and my question is about the legitimacy of the election. only earlier this week i think it was the british ambassador to afghanistan who said there will be a very low turnout and also the security yisheds -- issues. who is going to decide the result of elections to be legitimized? the concern is here, in
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afghanistan they're watching the situation in iran and other groups. >> no, this is obviously a central issue. who will decide the legitimacy of the election? there are thousands of observers, international an -- and domestic. there's going to be enormous media including the voice of america. i gave you an interview yesterday about all this. but you know, my own answer is it ends up being the media, frankly. not an answer that john podesta probably thinks is the right one but the truth is that all of what happens in any distant place is in the end reduced to the simple headlines of media. and you take the three most obvious recent examples, iran, kenya, and zimbabwe. no one knows what actually happened there. what you know is what you think you know, thanks to the media. in all three cases, by the way. i think they covered it quite
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accurately and i know something about those countries. so i will leab it to you to report. we're going to do the best we can along the lines we've discussed earlier. as everyone here has said, nobody is looking for a level of perfection in an election to which we are ourselves don't always achieve, to put it mildly. and the -- so we're just going to do the best we can. this election was called for under the constitution. it shouldn't have been delayed. it was. we have put an enormous amount of effort into it, we being the international community. >> the leading commission will be the body that ultimately decides what the result is and the point is that it will be about the media and the international election observers and government staff
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statements in behaving responsibly, not speculating too much and allowing the i.e.c. to take forward its work, allowing the electoral commission to address and adjudicate on complaints, are the best way to come -- your mike was down. could you state the front end of your answer? >> yeah. the front end was ultimately the afghan electoral authorities, the independent election commission will have the say on the election and making sure we don't speculate too much on the legitimacy. >> and there -- will there be challenges to the election? there are in every other democracy. i think we should assume those. >> it's generally recognized that afghanistan is unwinnable as long as the taliban and al qaeda have privileged areas in the areas on the afghan border.
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i'm just wondering why fattah did not come up this morning. >> we did talk about fattah, but there were no questions. i agree with you on the larger framework. i prefer to use the word "succeed" rather than "win" because this war isn't going to end on the battleship missouri or as you alone in this room can attest, in geneva, because you were alt that famous conference. the issue of pakistan and the sanctuaries is central to success. that's why president obama took these two countries and hillary clinton and asked for a separate organization which you see here before you. just for a point of reference on how different it is, up to january 20, afghanistan and pakistan were not only in the
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south asia bureau, but they had different deputy assistant secretaries in charge othem. so the integration -- there was no integration until you got up about three levels. now we have a single desk and everyone on this podium and any colleagues here works in both countries. and with all the other countries. now to your question. this is an enormously important issue. the end of mehsud as we all know is a very big deal and as i said earlier we don't know how it's going to play out but we know that the reports you've been reading in the press of disarray among his people, of other factions maneuvering, al qaeda has to decide what to do because mehsud was sort of like an independent subsidiary of yadier -- al qaeda, focused on pakistan, but some of the other groups in the area were focused on afghanistan.
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everyone is thrark around. there are -- thrashing around. there are unconfirmed reports of a shoot-out during the leadership meeting. this is very good news for all of us. equally important, arnaud, the pakistani people are converging on a consensus on the importance of this. i think this will pave the way for redoubled efforts. i know we're running out of time but i'd like to ask vali, who is really one of the great experts on this, he lived in pakistan for years and has a network of friends that there -- that is extraordinary, to add additional comments that this. >> it's no longer enough to just think of this as a sanctuary contributing to fattah. fattah is still a very important locale for afghan taliban as well as pakistan taliban.
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the zone of taliban operation rups much farther east and south and north. and what we are seeing is that to bring pakistani and afghan and american interests into alignment to deal with what is now a much broader regional problem, so what we're seeing is the pakistanis have engaged and the ultimate conclusion of this fight against the pakistani taliban will have to have a resolution of the fattah problem. so we are seeing much more of the hammer and anvil approach and in ard to succeed we'll have to maintain that kind of a relationship and cooperation with pakistan. >> robert, last question. >> good morning. i'm bob dreyfuss from th% @@@a#r >> you have in mind that there
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is a domestic political clock here where americans can look at this and know it where they see it and decide this isn't succeeding? do you think that the al qaeda comments about negotiating with the tell ben's -- >> whose comments? >>qaea taliban rather than trying to peel away the local people? >> on the second question i haven't seen the full text. in the contempt -- context i saw them in they seemed to be consistent with our positions and those of everyone else. on your first question, i can't answer your question. no one can. but i can tell you that we all feel the impatience and pressure of the american public and the congress, which legitimately wants to see
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progress. that's an absolutely legitimate thing and we have spent a great deal of time talking to members of congress and reaching out to groups, never in this configuration, this is unique for us, but to talk about this and so far it seems to me that people understand how critically important is this is. do we need to show progress in of course. we can't make these investments without making some demonstration that they have results. that's why i said earlier i don't want to confuse input and out putt. we've answered your questions about what's going on on the ground but we're very mindful of the fact we need to show that all these programs talked about today, frankly unveiled in this context for the first time, have to produce results. make john can invite us back in
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a year and you can hold us to act. i'll leave that to him. that is an open invitation. let me close by noting that when richard began his remarks he noted he was aught our launch event for the center for american progress. he said he hadn't been invited back. i reminded himj#u we had invite him back many times nor private consultations but it's sometimes dangerous to give him a microphone. but the real reason was we were waiting for a tremendous encore event and i want to thank he -- him and his colleagues for presenting the many components going into the strategy here. it's a very challenging context in which to work and we loork -- look forward to seeing what happens next week during the elections. you have a standing invitation to come back and report on how we're operating against the metrics and objectives that you
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laid out today. so thank you very much for being here. thank you, john. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [no audio] >> tonight, we will bring you live coverage of the net routes nations concert -- meeting from pittsburgh. this is for political activists and the first and a coverage includes an appearance by former president, bill clinton. you can watch it here on c-span, beginning at 8:00 a.m. -- p.m.,
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eastern time. >> radio talk show executive brian jennings. he is interviewed by radio and television commentator monica crowley. >> how is cspan funded? >> private contributions. >> honestly, i don't know. >> içhñ would say from commerci. >> advertising? >> something from the government? >> 30 years ago, america pause cable companies created cspan as a public service. it is a private business and initiative with no government mandate for money. >> at the supreme court saturday, sonia sotomayor was sworn in as an associate supreme court justice. following a 68-31 confirmation vote, she replaces justice david
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souter to retire this summer after 19 years on the high court. chief justice john roberts officiates at the ceremony. >> we are administering the oath this morning so that she can begin work as an associate justice without delay. i would like to invite mrs. sotomayor, the judges mother, and her brother to come forward. are you prepared to take the of? >> i am. >> please raise your right hand and repeat after me -- i, sonia sotomayor do solemnly swear that i will administer justice without respect to persons and
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do equal right to the poor and the rich and that i will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as a associate justice of the supreme court of the united states. under the constitution and laws of the united states. so help me god. congratulations and welcome to the court. [applause]
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[applause] [no audio] >> the white house held a reception yesterday for justice sotomayor, the newest member of the supreme court. the president, firstly, and senator patrick leahy were among the attendees. this is 20 minutes. [no audio]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, senator patrick leahy, and first lady michelle obama. [applause] [applause] ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and justice sonya sotomayor of the supreme court of the united states. [applause]
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>> it's a good thing. [applause] >> all right. good morning, everybody. and welcome to the white house. i am glad all of you could be with us today as we honor the newest member of our highest court who i am proud to address for the very first time as justice sonia sotomayor. [applause]
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>> we are also honored to be joined by justice sonia sotomayor's colleagues. we have justice ginsberg, who is here, as well as justice stevens -- [applause] and so, i want to thank both justices for being here today but for your extraordinary service on the corporate i know you'll be giving justice of the motte york -- just as sotomayor's some tips. [laughter] i also want to thank those who got us to this day. i want to thank senator patrick leahy. [applause]
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as well as our senate majority leader, harry reid, for their outstanding work -- [applause] for their outstanding work to complete this process before the august recess. i want to thank senator schumer, senator phil gramm, who are both -- gilebrtand, who are just a sonia sotomayor's home senators. i want to thank everybody who was involved in motivating these efforts from the beginning. your efforts were critical to our success. i appreciate all you have done for a pat yourself on the back. [applause]
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two members of congress that i especially want to acknowledge -- senator bob menendez who worked so hard on the senate side -- [applause] and congress woman vasquez who is the chairman of our spanish caucus. [applause] and i think we all want to take a moment to recognize the woman who, in so many ways, actually made this day possible, justice sonia sotomayor's mother. [applause] mrs. sotomayor is here with her
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husband, omar, and justice sotomayor's brother juan. by the way, i don't normally do this but let me thank my extraordinary white house staff who helped usher this stuff through. i am very proud of them. thank you very much. [applause] of course, we are here not just to celebrate our extraordinary new supreme court justice and all those who have been a part of her journey tuesday. we are here as well to celebrate an extraordinary moment for our nation. we celebrate the impact justice sotomayor has already had on people across america who have been inspired by her exceptional like story. we celebrate the greatness of the country in which such a
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story as possible. we celebrate how, with their overwhelming vote to confirm justice sotomayor, the united states senate, republicans and democrats tore down yet one more barrier÷ and affirm our belief that in america, the doors of opportunitysxj6 must be open to.
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she understands these things because she has lived these things. her life is one of those only in america stories, raised by a single mom in the south bronx, determined to give her every opportunity to succeed, propelled by the talent and hard work that would turn her scholarships and honors at the best schools in the country,
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driven always by the belief that it does not matter where you come from or what you look like or what challenges like terrace at you, no dream is beyond reach in the united states of america. -- with her death, she brings to the court a mastery of a letter of a lot and an understanding of how below unfold and our daily lives. its impact on how we work in worship and raise our families on whether we have the opportunities we might have to live the lives we imagined. that understanding is vital to the work of a supreme court justice as justice stevens and justice ginsburg will testify. the work of applying principles set forth in the cases of our time for it as visionary as our founders were, they did not presume to know exactly how the times would change, what new questions fate in history was set before us.
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they sought to articulate ideals that would be timeless, ideals that would accommodate the ever- changing circumstances of our laws and preserve for each new generation our most sacred rights and freedoms. when justice sotomayor put her hand on that bible and took that oath, we took yet another step towards realizing those ideals. we came yet another step closer to a more perfect union that we all seek. while this is just a sotomayor's achievement, the result of her ability and determination, this moment is not just about her. it is about every child who will grow up thinking to him or herself that sanyo sotomayor's can make it, maybe i can, too. [applause]
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it is about every mother or father who looks at the sacrifices justice sotomayor's mother made and the successes that she and her brother have had and thinks that they may not have much in their own laws but if they work hard enough, maybe my kids can have more. it is about everyone in this nation facing challenges and struggles in their lives, who hear this story and think to themselves that if she can overcome so much, then why can't i? nearly 80 years ago, as the cornerstone was laid for the building that became our supreme court, chief justice charles evans hughes declared the republican doors and a symbol of its fate.
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justice sotomayor's rise from humble beginnings to the heights of achievement is yet another symbol of that. faith that the american dream still in doors, faith that equal justice under the law is not just an inscription in marble but an animating ideal of our democracy, faith that in our great nation, all things are still possible for all people. this is a great day for america. i know that all of us here are proud and honored to have been a part of it. with that, i would like to introduce the newest member of the united states supreme court, justice sonia sotomayor. [applause]
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>> no words can express what i am feeling. no speech can fully captured my joy at this moment. nothing can convey the depth of gratitude i appeal to the countless family members starting with mom and my brother and the many friends and colleagues, so many of whom are here today and the others were not, who have helped me reached this moment. none of this would have happened without all of you.
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mr. president, i have the most heartfelt appreciation for the trust you have placed in me by nominating me. i want to convey my thanks to the judiciary committee, led by chairperson leahy for conducting a respectful and timely hearing and to all members of the senate for approving the present's selection. i am so grateful to all of you for this extraordinary opportunity. i am most grateful to this country. i stand here today, knowing that my confirmation as an associate justice of the supreme court, would never have been possible without the opportunities presented to me by this nation. more than two centuries ago, in
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a constitution that contains fewer than five dozen words, our founders set forth their vision for this new land. their self-proclaimed task was to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, and to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. over the years, the ideals at the heart of that documents have endured as subsequent generations have expanded those blessings, these rights and freedoms, to more and more americans. our constitution has survived domestic and international tunnel to including a civil war, two world wars, and the catastrophe of 9/11. it draws together people of all races, fakes, and backgrounds, from all across this country. who carried the words and values
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in our courts. it is this nation's faith, in a more perfect union, that allows a puerto rico girl from the bronx to stand here now. [applause] i am struck again today by the
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wonder of my own life and the like we in america are so privileged to lead. in reflecting on my life experiences, i am thinking also today of the judicial oath of office that i first took almost two decades ago and that i reiterated this past weekend. to judge without respect to what a person looks like, where they come from, or whether they are rich or poor, and to treat all persons as equal under law, that is what our system of justice requires and it is the foundation of the american people lost faith in rule all block and it is why i am so passionate about block. -- about the law. i am humbled by the sacred responsibility of safeguarding the rights and freedoms set forth in our constitution.
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i asked, not just my family and friends, but i ask all americans to wish me divine guidance and wisdom in administering my new office. i thank you all again for the love and support you have shown me and i thank president obama and the united states senate for the tremendous honor and privilege they have granted me. thank you. [applause] >> you will be great. [applause]
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[applause] >> sunday, the contributing editor and columnist for newsweek, on his radio address, a show profiling people who have overcome significant odds.
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>> this fall, it entered the home to america's highest court, from the grand public places, to those only accessible by the nine justices. the supreme court, coming the first sunday in october. "washington journal" is next on c-span. then, the brookings institution hosts a discussion of the $787 billion stimulus plan. later, a live it defense briefing with robert gates. -- all live in defense briefing with robert gates. on today's program, tony the new chevy volt hybrid. the indianapolis mayor, ballard, and we will discuss health care with our


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